In a recent article on the Herald website, a local news organization in Zimbabwe, I learned about the Zimbabwe Government, through the Agriculture and Rural Development Authority has decided to invest in pecans to help boost the countries exports. Zimbabwe is on the northern border of South Africa and the most recent plantings are in the Matabeleland South province.
Mr. Harold Schur has established some small orchards along with a pecan tree nursery. The first pecan tree plantings in 2008 are now in their second year of harvest and the crop looks good, according to Mr. Schur. He said they decide to plant pecan trees in the area because South Africa already has an established industry and the climate in Zimbabwe is better for pecans than in South Africa. Mr. Schur says that he understands that growing pecans is a long term investment, but that the wait is worth the returns. The ARDA chairman Mr. Basil Nyabadza said about pecans “It [pecans] will add value to our economic drive.” Mr. Nyabadza said that he would like to see all 62 rural districts participating, ARDA has already identified land where it intends to establish pecan nut orchards and that they will be establishing pecan nurseries in strategic locations to serve those districts.